|Me. (Really, shouldn't that be the subject for every entry?)
||[Dec. 19th, 2010|10:05 pm]
I started a Dreamwidth, which is basically all the good of ye'oldy LJ but without being ruined by clueless business people who care more about milking users and developing a good user experience and culture, but none of my friends hang out over there. It seemed a bit pointless. Besides, there's no "critical mass" for a need to write when steam and be reduced gently and effortlessly with Twitter and Facebook as bitching venues. |
Still, this journal is old. It seems improper to let it die off, so I'm going to now tell the public internet miscellaneous information about my past 8 months.
My social life has continued to be tied to the shows I've participated in. From July-Nov I was in an excellent run of the Producers. It was a great show and a wonderful, largely new-to-me group of people. In December I was in a childrens theater show directed by an old friend from high school. I got to see many old faces. The material was questionable, but the people he was able to bring together were brilliant. It was a well received production and a very good experience. Starting in January I'll be in rehearsals for Guys and Dolls. I have wanted to do that show for years.
In the first half of the year, I took classes after being off for a long time. I've had two major hurdles left, both of which have caused me much anguish and cost me much money. One of these hurdles was successfully cleared and the last one will be addressed this spring. I hope the closure will feel as good as I hope.
I've been seeing someone for the past 8 months. She has no internet presence to speak for, so I won't be creating a secondhand one for her here.
I'm overdue for a new project to own and love. Half way through the year I started a new project. It looked like it had good commercial potential. We found out the people who were going to be our primary customers were going to have to use someone else's product a few weeks before shipping, so it is on hold for the moment. The money would have been nice if it worked out, but if I were completely honest, I wasn't in love with it. Not in love with the idea. Not in love with the product.
There are a few ideas rattling in my brain. It's hard to start, though. Starting is always the hardest part. Ending is the second hardest part, but for entirely different reasons. Ending means that you're satisfied that this is the best you can do. I am never satisfied. I find starting much more difficult than anything else, though.
A year ago I was writing about how my life needed a change. That's still true. Maybe that's a symptom of how hard I find it to start things?
|Google Cloud Printing.
||[Apr. 15th, 2010|11:34 pm]
Printing has always been a sore spot for people creating new operating systems. Every printer talks a little differently than every other printer and for the past 30 years printer manufacturers have considered the details of how to talk to their printer to be a trade secret which must not be shared under any circumstance.|
This means that in order for your phone, iPad, or even Linux or GoogleOS powered Netbook to talk to your printer, either the manufacturer needs to care about your platform enough to write a driver for it or some enthusiast needs to do this for them.
Since Google created Android and is working on GoogleOS, this problem affects them. Their answer: put it in the cloud.
Since most new devices have internet access and can make HTTP requests, the idea is that applications that want to print can send a request to Google (or another compatible Cloud Printing provider) and then Google will send the job to your printer.
But wait! How does Google figure out how to print to your printer?
In the hypothetical future, printers will be "Cloud Printing" aware, so instead of installing a driver the printer will be network enabled and presumably speak HTTP. You will register your printer with your Google Account and it will need to be directly accessible from the Internet. [Aside: I doubt this future will happen. Printer manufacturers enjoy being proprietary. They believe it gives them a competitive advantage for some odd reason.]
To work with printers today, you will need a computer with appropriate drivers already. You will install a server on that computer that will proxy and translate Cloud Printing requests to registered printers. Your other devices will then be able to send jobs to that printer. The computer with the proxy will need to be visible to Google, of course.
I like that someone is trying to solve the Tower of Babel of Printers problem. Ubiquitous device support is a good thing and hardware developers are not always the best software developers, so common printer driver code should make everyone's lives better. I also understand why you would want this new common language to work over a network since many of the newer computing devices (Android phones, iPhone, iPad, some netbooks) can talk to networks but do not have USB ports.
However, I do not understand why print jobs should have to take a round trip over the internet just so all printers can speak the same language. Requiring someone to hand off personal data to a third party with no clear added benefit is creepy. Couldn't this be accomplished by having the "proxy" for legacy printers work on the local network? Is involving Google in the handshake going to convince manufacturers to build printer firmware that speaks HTTP? Does fitting the word "Cloud" in there make it more buzzword compliant?
Maybe I misread something, but this does not make sense to me.
||[Mar. 29th, 2010|12:52 am]
Bookshelves are interesting. |
Well, the shelves themselves aren't interesting. They're pretty and contribute a specific atmosphere to a room's decor. But that's not what I wanted to write about! What's more interesting is what people put on their bookshelves.
A person's shelves obviously do not hold every book the owner has ever read. That would be ridiculous. The average person (hopefully!) has a wide reading portfolio supplemented by loans from friends and the local library.
Some people might put every book they own on their shelves. I wouldn't begrudge such a person since that was me up until today! I am not a person who often rereads books, so I am putting my less frequently used books into storage to consolidate the two bookshelves in my bedroom into one. This way I reduce some visual clutter in my bedroom and my kitchen gets some direly needed shelving.
While my intent was utilitarian, when picking and choosing which books to keep on the remaining bookshelf I caught myself wondering why I was selecting each book. Was I keeping "Machete Season" because I wanted to seem compassionate? Am I holding onto Shakespeare so I appear to be intelligent or sophisticated? Are songbooks and books on art and design placed prominently so I look more interesting or do I honestly think I'll be referring to them in the next 6 months? If the technical references dwarf the fiction, will I seem stodgy?
Ultimately I believe I chose to keep the books I will be reading relatively soon, since I am if nothing else a pragmatic person. It did, however, lead to an interesting line of thought.
I never considered the bookshelf that was carefully groomed. It always seemed interesting to see what a person kept on their bookshelves because what we read reveals much of who we are. Now I realize what I once considered to be an uncensored slice of a person's life and interests may be a deliberately crafted image which is biased by how the owner views himself or how the owner wishes to be perceived by others.
|Since last time....
||[Mar. 6th, 2010|12:27 pm]
* The neighbor mentioned in the previous post will not be living here much longer.|
* Was in a lovely cabaret a few weeks back. Positive feedback makes the ego go boom boom boom.
* Fighting the good fight against math and rocks. Haven't gotten many grades back, so hopefully all is well?
* Godspell opens... Friday? Holy s. You all should come see it.
* Working from home now. I've noticed pros and cons to this arrangement. Nice since it saves two hours of daily driving, though. And saving a ton of money on gas.
* Lot's of paying down a lot of "code debt" while adding a feature that touches a lot of stuff the past two weeks.
* I'm kind of excited about Rails 3! I have mixed feelings about them getting rid of stuff like link_to_function, but the improvements to ActiveRecord where everything is a scope looks awesome.
* Also, Erector looks really cool. I think I'm too committed my my mash up of ERB and HAML to switch at this point. Maybe the next project.
||[Feb. 10th, 2010|10:40 am]
When I got home last night, I found this anonymous note on the steps by my door:|
Here's a transcription, including all weird grammar and capitalization:
Did you KNOW:
There's this so called grown up not sure if its a man or woman because it reminds me of "Pat" from Saturday night live. "Pat" was a disgusting character that I never though I'd have the displeasure to meet anyone like it but there's someone that lives in my building that behaves as such. Anyway the thing in the building trollups about so rude & disgracefully so. Doing everything to disturb the other tenants like fake snoring while lying on the floor! No grown ups that's intelligent would ever stoop to such retarded behavior. The overgrown thing even drags chairs & furniture all times of the morning & night just to disrupt an otherwise peaceful environment. The bafoon even follows the neighboring tenant as it can hear her walk from room to room like some sort of imbred shithead looking for its mothers nipple to play with while she changed his soiled undersized Depends diaper. Craziness! I KNOW I KNOW - BUT DID U?! the thing should 302 itself... don't you think?!
What? I mean... what?
The note was left unsigned, but it's pretty easy to guess who wrote it. There are only three apartments in the house. One of them is mine. One is my landlord's, and I'm fairly certain he wouldn't write this.
Obviously I need to have a chat with the landlord and this individual.
You can bet I'll be double checking that I lock the door at night. The person who wrote this is clearly not completely well.
||[Jan. 20th, 2010|08:30 pm]
Today was my first day back in class. A few observations:|
* Men do not know how to flush urinals. Why? Do they enjoy getting splashback from someone else's urine? I do not approve.
* When I ordered hot chocolate from a vendor, I was asked if I wanted creme or sugar. I'm wondering if this is some sort of drone who is so used to serving coffee that those condiments were offered as a reflex or if this is a new trend. Do not want.
* I think they've finished all the construction projects that they had started when I was a full time student, yet there's still construction. Peculiar. Related: Who would have thought that we would see the day when a Fresh Grocer adjacent to campus? It looks like that entire shopping center has been bought out by stores with more money. Capitalism and gentrification is a go.
* Apparently my school's book store doesn't sell bound books anymore? Maybe it's because I reserved them from the website. Now I need to get binders so I'm not carrying around a bunch of looseleaf textbook pages. Very weird. But, at least I have the option of not carrying around the Calculus I half of my math text.
* Unsurprisingly, my math prof is one I've had many times before. Oops!
Work is going along well. Lots of work on backend things the past two weeks to balance out all the HTML/CSS in December. If all goes as planned, I'll be eliminating a huge single point of failure very soon.
Godspell started up in full force earlier this month and it, too, is going well. Nothing much to add there.
Now I'm off to the laundromat so I can launder and bind my math text. Fun.
||[Dec. 25th, 2009|04:20 pm]
1.What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?|
Performed outside of Upper Darby. Had a full-time job writing software. Lived by myself. Bought a car.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I kept my resolutions, but I will make new ones.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No. This is a good thing.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope. First time in a while I've been able to say that. :P
5. What countries did you visit?
None. :( :( :(
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I would have liked to travel some. Also, would have liked to manage my finances a bit better.
7. What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There were lots of great times in 2009. Nothing in particular stands out, though.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't manage my time very well. I need to find a way to have enough going on that I feel satisfied, yet still nothing is falling to the wayside. I'm not good at managing that tightrope.
10. Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Allergies and a cold.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My car. :)
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My fellow Seussicians, cast, crew, and production team, had fantastic A-game throughout our run. A+. :)
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm no gossip.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Taxes, student loans, rent, and insurance.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seussical, Joseph, and Millie were all really fun, exciting, and fantastic.
I was very excited to get a non-contract job.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
I didn't listen to much music this year.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Hard to tell.
ii. thinner or fatter? A little fatter, I think. Need to work on that. :( :( :( WAY TO BRING IT UP STUPID SURVEY.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer. Lots of expenses. But more stable? Maybe I can fix that this year.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading, gym, and local developer events.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Watching TV and movies. I got into a bit of a habit/slump with that this year. I need to really set hard limits on how much time I spend on that on a weekly basis.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Having family over for dinner.
22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
23. How many one-night stands?
I don't think any? Depends on how you define them, I guess.
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Ugh. Now for my shame! I've watched the following series in their entirety (or mostly) this year:
MASH. All the StarTreks except Enterprise. Full Metal Alchemist. The Office. Roseanne. Dr. Who. Band of Brothers. The Shield. Modern Family. Psych. True Blood. Glee. Greek. The Daily Show. Colbert Report. How I Met Your Mother. 30 Rock. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
That's just too much.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
In true spirit of my hybrid Jewish/Catholic upbringing, there's no one I hate but there are people who I am very disappointed in. ;-)
26. What was the best book you read?
I re-read Lloyd Alexander's Prydain chronicles. YES I KNOW THEY'RE KID BOOKS. SHUT UP.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
28. What did you want and get?
I don't really want anything over the holidays. My boss got me remote entry and remote car start, though, which was pretty sweet.
29. What did you want and not get?
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Up was this year, right?
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don't think that I did anything on the day of my birthday. Friends threw a party the weekend after.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not sure! I'll think on that for next year. ;)
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Whatever is clean.
34. What kept you sane?
I don't think I used any crutches. Heh.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
That's not really my thing.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage, health care, and the ridiculous Tea Parties.
37. Who did you miss?
38. Who was the best new person you met?
This time last year, I didn't know anyone from Bernies or Seussical, so all of you fine people. ♥ :D
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
I kept too busy to learn anything. Maybe slow down some?
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
|Since posting more means memes are OK. ;)
||[Dec. 15th, 2009|11:23 pm]
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your LJ and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.
|Wherein I talk about college paperwork, ideas, writing copy, and library audiobooks
||[Dec. 15th, 2009|11:17 pm]
In the spirit of writing more, I'm writing more. :P|
Today I received word that my request to not retake all my classes has been approved by all the people with fancy titles who need to approve that sort of thing. Now I just need to register for my last class, and I will be set!
I tried scheduling an appointment to add the class that today when I first received the news at 4:55PM. After explaining what I wanted and being placed on hold, I was informed at 5:05PM that "The System" gets shut down at 5:00 and I could try again tomorrow. Some might be annoyed by this, but to me it's just home sweet home. ;-)
I often come up with bizarre programming projects and never follow up on them once the idea loses it's novelty in my mind. Not this time! I was struck with the best worst useless idea ever, and by golly I will not let that go to waste! I'm not going to write about it quite yet, though. Whenever I write about an amazing idea, I abandon it shortly afterwards. (Perhaps I need to become quicker as a programmer. Or, I need a longer attention span.)
Much of today I've been writing copy. It's important and needs to be done, but I can't decide if I'm bad at it or if I just dislike the task. Maybe it's a little of both. I'm eager for the month to be over so I can stop pretending to be a web designer and get back to writing software.
Earlier today I got very excited because I thought I could download DRM'd audiobooks from my local library. Upon closer inspection, I think you can only be put onto a waitlist to download an audiobook someday? Disappointing.
My Pandora station for this week is seeded by "Party in the USA" and "Single Ladies". I enjoy it, but you should pity my coworkers.
|Wherein I talk about Seussical wrapup, Godspell, brain rot, cars, and school. Also: I plead.
||[Dec. 11th, 2009|02:00 am]
I've been busy, but not in a way that lends to great stories to share with the internet. Le sigh.|
Seussical turned out to be an absolutely fantastic experience. Great performances with a wonderful tiny cast. It was a very consuming show in terms of energy and time, but in a really good way, so immediately afterwards it felt like a weird combination of loss and relief.
Last week I auditioned for a production of Godspell and was cast as the soloist for "All Good Gifts". That would make me Lamar, I suppose? It should be fun. I know next to nothing about the show, but the music I've heard so far sounds good. That starts early January and ends in March, I think? So it's a pretty short run. And after that I think I'm going to sleep for a while.
I've always explained to people that the artistic and scientific sides of my brain both get very hungry and so I feed the former with theatre and the later with coding. I'm afraid the coding half hasn't been as satisfied lately. It's gotten worse over the past few months, but the problem goes back a few years.
A big part of it, I think, is I don't talk to many other programmers in my day-to-day life. In fact, I have no close friends who are software developers. For me, there's an important social component to writing software which I have been neglecting since leaving college. Collaborating with others and bouncing ideas off of one another is a great way to grow new ideas and weed out the bad. Also, I enjoy being competitive and showing off. It helps to keep me sharp. Otherwise, I'm a single voice bouncing around in an echo chamber. That echo chamber is starting to take a toll on me.
Philadelphia has developed a thriving technological community, particularly over the past two years, and I need to get more involved with it. It would be very healthy for me.
That, and I think I need to either start or hook onto some open source project. I've given that idea a lot of lip service, but have done very little towards those ends. I'm good at what I do, but, again, I'm in an echo chamber. No one around me is qualified to tell me my work sucks outside of a black box testing sort of way, and I think that sort of environment makes it very easy to stagnate.
In more annoying news, in mid-October I was in an accident that totaled my mother's car. It doesn't really affect her that much. Due to a weird set of circumstances she has been driving her sister's car for years now. However, it did mean that I had to buy my first car. That was kind of annoying with a dash of excitement. I am now the proud owner of a silver 2010 Honda Fit.
In mixed news, I'm in a paperwork-based cage match with my alma mater, trying to get back in so I can finish my last few classes and get my BS. If all goes to plan, I'll be done either by the end of spring or the summer. Otherwise, I'm probably going to drop the whole matter forever because they'll want me to re-take a few dozen classes. My paperwork has been approved so far, but it's still being pushed further up the ladder. My major is no longer offered (wtf?) so a lot of fancy people with many letters before and after their names need to decide whether I can give them money in exchange for a piece of paper. Exciting, right?
LJ seems to have turned into a ghost town. I know that part of it is the company itself has turned to shit from the sounds of things, and another part is everyone (with a few noted and appreciated exceptions!) has moved to posting trite status updates in Facebook's closed garden (oh hi!) or Twitter's noise factory (hay!). It doesn't need to be that way! Come back, everyone! :P
There's still value in writing in essay form about how ridiculous your day was or giving bi-weekly updates on your life! There's so much noise in those other mediums and such little room for context and content that a few years from now when you want to be nostalgic, you'll still find great gems on LJ from 2001-2008, but very little from this period of time. FB's and Twitter's archives will be difficult to navigate if they'll exist at all and the content will be of such little value it won't even be worth the effort to go through them.
I know I'm a complete hypocrite because lately if I write bi-monthly, that's a good run for me. However! If you guys come back I promise I'll write more frequently. I'll even comment. Pinky swear. It's sad that my 20 most recent friends entries spans 5 days! I miss y'all.